Barking Mad

Reporter:

Reporter

For years, dogs trailed behind cats as Britain’s favourite pet. Latest figures show that dogs are becoming more and more popular with men, women and children.  For some a fashion accessory, for others a companion; people will adopt or buy a dog nowadays as readily as a pair of shoes. Despite the reason for buying a dog you must ensure you take the proper precautions before bringing your new friend home.

Pets are popular gifts especially around the holidays. Unfortunately, many owners underestimate the commitment involved in taking care of an animal. Below are a few things you should consider before purchasing or adopting a dog.

  • Financial – Ensure that you can afford to pay for the food, vet bills, grooming and accessories. According to Churchill.com, Dogs can cost from £1,300 a year up to £3,300.
  • Social – Will you have the time to walk, train and keep your dog company? Research shows dogs that are left alone can develop behavioural issues.
  • Housing – Does your home allow dogs to live within the grounds? Some apartments and houses prohibit or have restrictions on animals.

 

As well as the financial and social commitment, owners must be aware that they have a legal responsibility for your animal/s. According to the Animals Act 1971, you are liable for injury or damage caused by your dog. As well as Physical injury, dog owners may also be liable if their dog causes one or more of the following:

  • Nuisance – Causing nuisance to others including but not limited to noise and smell.
  • Trespassing – When an animal comes on to your land.
  • Negligence – When an owner has failed to take reasonable care and their dog does damage then you may have a claim.

 

From April 2011 to April 2012 there was a reported 6,450 admissions for dog attacks and strikes in England. Many of these injuries involved children under the age of 10, with nearly 500 of these incidents requiring plastic surgery to correct the damage. The effects of such attacks can result in surgery, trauma and orthopaedic treatment for victims.

Thankfully, there is a system in place for people who wish to seek compensation for injuries suffered in a dog attack.

To read more about Dangerous Dogs follow the link below:
http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13573-dogs-law-you-leaflet-080515.pdf

 

 

What can I do for my animal?

    • Ensure your dog is properly trained. One to one services are available over the UK and can assist the development of your dog’s behavior.
    • Keep your face away from the mouth of a dog – Dogs that have not been trained adequately may find this action threatening.
    • Provide your dog with a healthy balanced diet.
    • Provide your dog with its own space. This will teach your dog to respect its area.
    • Always ensure your dog has opportunity to venture outside to give it much needed exercise. Walks every day are advised. Please ensure your dog is not left outside overnight.
    • Take your dog for veterinary check ups. At least twice a year is recommended.
    • Reinforce good behaviour with treats and correct bad behaviour. Ensure your dog knows who’s Boss.
    • Take time to play with your dog. Building a bond is crucial for a well behaved, healthy and happy dog.

    See full story in the County Times

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